Female Orgasm – Unlocking the Neuroscientific Mysteries




Key hole

Recently Brain Blogger featured an article entitled Your Brain on Sex and Love. While it delineated a few recent studies that focused on what goes on in the brain during sex, few recognize how little is known about human sexuality, particularly the neural and psychological responses that stem from it. Logistically, it is difficult to study human sex in a lab setting, simply because it is difficult for test subjects to engage in intercourse, or even to self-stimulate, in an fMRI scanner. MindHacks explains how the alternative use of PET scanners is still problematic:

[The test subjects] still had some considerable problems to overcome though, not least of which was timing an orgasm to occur during a predefined time-slot, during which brain activity could be monitored. PET requires a radioactive tracer to be injected into the bloodstream, and although the radiation is very weak, it’s best to use only as much as necessary. This means the intuitive approach of continuous scanning and waiting for the pop of the cork is just not feasible.

Female sexuality is particularly enigmatic, simply because the sex function in women is so much more complex than that of their male counterparts. A study conducted by Dutch scientist Gert Holstege and featured in a BigThink article showed that while the areas in male brains activated during orgasm were not surprising, the activated areas in the female brains were slightly different. For one, the female brain becomes noticeably silent in certain areas, like in the lateral orbitofrontal cortex and the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, two areas in the brain that process feelings and thoughts associated with self-control and social judgement. Holstege noted that “at the moment of orgasm, women do not have any emotional feelings.”

New Scientist published a piece late last year featuring an experiment that revealed that pain processing centers in the brain also activate during female orgasm. Dr. Kamisaruk of Rutgers University, who is an early pioneer of neuroscieintific sex studies of the female orgasm, noted that at the moment of climax, women’s pain threshold drops drastically, and that “the fact that these areas are both active during pain and intense pleasure suggests that they may be involved in the analgesic effects of orgasm.”

While of course the study of men’s sexual response is important, it may be more important from a medical standpoint to delve into the female brain considering the much higher numbers of sexual dysfunction in women. Even women in good health have a difficult time achieving climax. Reportedly, 10% of women have never had an orgasm, and as many as 50% of women have trouble being aroused.

One interesting ability that Kamisaruk found is unique to women is that some women he worked with were able to “think themselves” to orgasm. Without using any external stimulation, women closed their eyes and, using only sometimes erotic imagery but just as commonly very random and abstract thought processes, achieved an orgasm that was indistinguishable from orgasms achieved through self-stimulation. Kamisaruk also observed that when some women visualize a certain part of the body, that part of the body becomes sensitive. Kamisaruk believes that further study on this phenomenon could be helpful beyond simply treating sexual dysfunction, but could aid in pain management and the prevention of obesity, among other common health concerns.

In the final analysis, however, as pointed out in Brain Blogger and the New York Times, sexual dysfunction can be understood on a cultural level as well. Stifled sexual pleasure, particularly in women, can result from cultural taboos and poor relationships. As such, the relatively recent excitement about so-called “women’s Viagra” is still as yet a pipe dream, and would it behoove both the scientist and the average person to understand human sexuality through as many lenses as possible.

References

Komisaruk BR, & Whipple B (2005). Functional MRI of the brain during orgasm in women. Annual review of sex research, 16, 62-86 PMID: 16913288

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  • J.L.

    Ehrm. While I have no doubt the keyhole image was chosen to convey the “taking a sneak peak into the secrets of the brain” angle of the article, some readers might miss that and due to unfortunate mental baggage associate it with the sexist stereotype of women as keyholes and men as keys.
    I am not stating this in some attempt to get the image changed. It’s clever and nice, and the wrong association without realisation that it can be interprented in other, less unhealthy ways, should only happen to a very tiny miniority. I am just mentioning this in case someone generally distressed in life views the article and jumps to the wrong conclusions, and starts acting offended without bothering to explain what it was that riled them up so much in the first place. Distressed people tend to have darker associations, itching to find something they actually can vent at, when they feel they cannot at the real problems in their lives.

  • J.L.

    (to add: yes, it is possible to fail to realize the obvious meaning in spite of the article title.)

  • clumsygirl

    i have a new theory about female orgasm.

    i can prove that Frued and Kinsey’s theories are all wrong.i write all details in my blog.

    http://orgasmgirl.blogspot.com

  • clumsygirl

    i need your attention and help

    i am a girl, i can break the mystery of female orgasm, because i really can orgasm every time i want.

    I am willing to do any testing to prove that. i write everything on my blog.
    http://orgasmgirl.blogspot.com/

    Distinguish between orgasm and urination?female incontinence is not orgasm at all
    Almost women have the problems about urinary incontinence during sex. “Every time I feel like I want to orgasm, I stop because it feels like I have to pee, I don’t know if I have to pee or if I am really having an orgasm”. It mainly because women don’t even know what a real orgasm is and they can’t even distinguish between orgasm and urination, so they are confused with urinary incontinence and deceived by themselves.

    Listen, if you want to urinate, when you are in sex?that is not right. The feeling of urinary incontinence only can illustrate that you get the wrong place to stimulate. This stimulation can’t give you an orgasm; it only can give you urinary incontinence. If you get the right place to stimulate, you will find that you can’t urinate and orgasm at the same time.

    One more thing, many women have the feelings of shame and embarrassment after so-called female ejaculation. Why do they have these bad feelings and why do men not have these bad feelings, if both of orgasms are in the same. This problem can’t be explained by current theories so far. Frankly speaking, the answer is the feelings like urinary incontinence that the female experience during so-called orgasm is not a real orgasm. After a real orgasm, women have no time and mood to be shame and embarrassed, and because your brain will immediately release some special hormones to make you sleepy very much, you lose your interest in sex immediately and you can’t get into another sex right now, it called refractory period as same as male.

    • Anonymous

      feel enlightenment, its my machine. human will:)
      cuz i love you, only love you, first to see this, first to see this

  • http://orgasmgirl.blogspot.com/ clumsygirl

    Women and men have the same ejaculation system and process.

    From Freud to Kinsey, and then Shere Hite, people have been trying to unlock the secrets of female orgasm, but always missed the truth, although Shere Hite has been very close to the fact.

    Here I make an announcement to the world loudly again, do not struggle the old and wrong views, and the only fact is women and men have the same ejaculation system and process.

    Female ejaculation whole process is like this, sex aroused, friction and squeeze the clitoris, shudder of climax (approximately less than 10 seconds), instantaneous release of some kind of hormones from the brain so that female immediately into a refractory period. I know it sounds incredible, and it sounds like a male orgasm, but these are facts. A woman does not have any so-called multiple orgasms, whoever said they had experienced multiple orgasms, what she experiences is not a real orgasm.

    If a woman has reached a real orgasm, she would immediately fall into the refractory period, and immediately lose interest in sex, and she can not continue to help a man to get his orgasm. In other words, two orgasms are mutually exclusive, and they cannot occur at the same time.

    http://orgasmgirl.blogspot.com/2011/08/women-and-men-have-same-ejaculation.html

    • sharon

      you all must be pretty old. I have plenty orgasm, muiliple
      ones all the time. If you have the right partner, he can bring
      it all out. 5 or more each time i have sex

  • clumsygirl

    Distinguish between orgasm and urination? Female incontinence is not orgasm at all.

    Almost all women have the problems about urinary incontinence during sex. “Every time I feel like I want to orgasm, I stop because it feels like I have to pee, I don’t know if I have to pee or if I am really having an orgasm”. It mainly because women don’t even know what a real orgasm is and they can’t even distinguish between orgasm and urination, so they are confused with urinary incontinence and deceived by themselves.

    Listen, if you want to urinate, when you are in sex?that is not right. The feeling of urinary incontinence only can illustrate that you get the wrong place to stimulate. This stimulation can’t give you an orgasm; it only can give you urinary incontinence. If you get the right place to stimulate, you will find that you can’t urinate and orgasm at the same time.

    One more thing, many women have the feelings of shame and embarrassment after so-called female ejaculation. Why do they have these bad feelings and why do men not have these bad feelings, if both of orgasms are in the same. This problem can’t be explained by current theories so far. Frankly speaking, the answer is the feelings like urinary incontinence that the female experience during so-called orgasm is not a real orgasm. After a real orgasm, women have no time and mood to be shame and embarrassed, and because your brain will immediately release some special hormones to make you sleepy very much, you lose your interest in sex immediately and you can’t get into another sex right now, it called refractory period as same as male.

    http://orgasmgirl.blogspot.com/2011/06/distinguish-between-orgasm-and.html

  • clumsygirl

    Maybe there is some organ unknown in labia majora

    http://orgasmgirl.blogspot.com/2011/08/maybe-there-is-some-organ-unknown-in.html

    There is a popular opinion that the testes are the sources of semen which the male ejaculates. the testes are supposed to become swollen with accumulated secretions between to be necessary in order to relieve these pressures. That is main reason why male need to ejaculate regularly.

    That’s the fact, but need to release not only men, women also need to release. Why do women not feel a strong need to release? There is only one reason – women never experience the pleasure of release during the process. Physical orgasm is like taking drugs, once you have experienced, you will inevitably need to ejaculate every time. That will be your core interests, and of course you can’t retreat it for anyone or anything.

    The labia majora correspond to the scrotum in the male. Beneath the skin layer, there is mostly fatty tissue with some ligaments, smooth muscle fibers, nerves, and blood and lymphatic. I think not only those inside the labia majora, but also some organs are not been found in labia majora yet. Since the scrotum and labia majora are homologous to the human body, why there are no organs in female labia majora, but two testes in male scrotum. But the anatomists have never found them, and no women claimed that they can touch something inside the labia majora before.

    I think it mainly because of the principle of disuse. In the process of reproduction of human evolution, women was always fulfilled the obligations of reproduction as male ejaculation’ receptacle, but they ignored the self-demand, and some important organs shrunk slowly without use for a long time. In recent years, although some scientists study in the female orgasm, but they always entangled in the clitoris orgasm and vaginal orgasm, they ignore the anatomy of the labia majora.

  • Counselling Southampton

    There are lot of factors to be considered in achieving sexual pleasure especially when we talk about female sexuality. One of these factors is the cultural aspect because it directly affects the attitude of the woman towards sex. If a woman believes that a sexual act is dirty or taboo, then, she will find it hard to reach orgasm or intense sexual pleasure during intercourse. It is also true that men are able to achieve orgasm easier than women.

  • http://life-fresh.myshopify.com jassica

    I am not stating this in some attempt to get the image changed. It’s clever and nice, and the wrong association without realisation that it can be interprented in other, less unhealthy ways, should only happen to a very tiny miniority.

  • Anonymous

    I have never had an orgasm with a man. I just sit and think and it all happens!. I also orgasm during sleep, I have done this for as long as I can remember, as a child… in school….no one could understand what I was doing.. the only indication that anything was happening was when i would sweat,go rigid and then be very relaxed afterwards!and certainly as a child I had no idea what sex was, I just knew it was a lovely feeling, it was only later at around 17 years old, I was suddenly able to give a name to this wonderful feeling, “orgasm”. As mentioned earlier, no outside stimulous has ever made me orgasm, I have had some men think they are the answer to my “prayers”,but all have failed and I return to my “self sufficient” state, very happy and contented :-). I have no man in my life and have no need of one, I have all the companionship i need through my friends and family. I enjoy my life to the full, without the burden of having to fake orgasms anymore to make the man feel he is “doing it right” lol

  • anonymous

    I have only experienced orgasms using my mind, ie.. no outside stimulus, no man, no touching etc. I have been able to do this from being a young child with no idea of what “sex” was or indeed orgasm, it was only years later, around 17 years old I began to realise that this lovely feeling was called an “orgasm”
    I don’t wish to offend the male species, but I have never had the need for a man in any sexual way, I have been married, had children and always faked the orgasm and must have been a successful faker as had no complaints, but found the whole penetration thing a very tedious affair. I now have no man, as I have my children, and all my social needs are met by my family and friends. I am a well rounded, grounded human being I like to think, content with my life and free from the complexities surrounding intimate relationships. Are there any others out ther like me I wonder??

  • anonymous

    Might I add that I am not a “man hater” as reading my text through, it might have come across in that way.., I have many lovely male friends who I value as just that…. friends, I thought I must clarify that :-)

  • Dr. Charles Runels

    Difficulty reaching orgasm can be frustrating. But, a procedure called o-shot can help women with this problem. A single shot will do the trick. See it at oshot.info

  • Dr. Charles Runels

    There are women who can’t reach orgasm. A new procedure called o-shot can treat this condition. This has been very effective with my patients. You can watch the procedure at http://oshot.info

    Hope this helps someone.

    Charles Runels, MD

  • Charles Runels

    “How to activate the female orgasm system described in detail by Dr Runels in his course, Activate the Female Orgasm System. Go here to see video: http://OrgasmSystem.info

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  • http://www.orgasmgeek.com/best-foreplay-techniques-orgasm/ Jonathan Skeeling

    A great topic indeed!. And I’m wondering if this keyhole refers to girls vagina? LOL. And for add ons on this topic I suggest foreplay. This really helps to extend your girls lust.

Donna Reish

Donna Reish is a freelancer who blogs about best universities. She loves to write education, career, frugal living, finance, health, parenting relating articles.
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